Suzhou Singapore International School

3.5  / 5
(5Reviews)
Ranking:
Country:# 15
|
Region:# 53
|
Overall:# 108
Located:
Suzhou, China
Region:
Asia
Score Over Time:

Category Scores:

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Additional Information:

Curriculum:
Grade Levels:
Type:
Enrollment:
PYP
MYP
DP
Non-profit
Private
International
1500

Review Summary:

School:

Question 1:

The facilities of the school adequately provide for a positive learning/working experience.

6.6 / 10
Question 2:

School provides adequate access to teaching materials without any extra expense by the teacher (books, lab supplies, art supplies, materials, copying, etc.

7 / 10
Question 3:

School is well funded to provide students and faculty with adequate materials to support their course offering.

8.2 / 10
Question 4:

Parent community is actively involved in supporting the school's mission and their child's education endeavors.

6.4 / 10
Question 5:

Classroom student to teacher ratios are kept low.

7.2 / 10

Students:

Question 6:

Students are generally of high aptitude.

5.8 / 10
Question 7:

Student interactions with faculty are primarily characterized by respectability.

7.4 / 10
Question 8:

Students are of diverse ethnicity.

5 / 10

Administration:

Question 9:

Administration positively supports faculty in a professional manner.

5.2 / 10
Question 10:

Administration actively encourages a dialogue concerning school related issues.

4.6 / 10
Question 11:

Administration is actively engaged in developing/supporting/maintaining a clear school vision.

6.4 / 10
Question 12:

Administration makes sure that the financial stability and integrity of the school is well maintained.

7.4 / 10
Question 13:

Administration/Ownership uses school funds to support the well being of the school.

7 / 10

Salary:

Question 14:

Salary scale is competitive.

8.2 / 10
Question 15:

Salary provides the opportunity to save appropriately.

8.6 / 10
Question 16:

Salary provides the opportunity to travel during vacation.

8.6 / 10
Question 17:

Salary scale provides for vertical and horizontal movement based on years of experience and/or units/degree's earned.

7.4 / 10

Benefits:

Question 18:

School provides a quality health insurance plan that covers all major medical (health, vision, dental.

5 / 10
Question 19:

School provides retirement benefits that are competitive.

0.8 / 10
Question 20:

School provides a health insurance plan that covers international travel/coverage.

5.4 / 10
Question 21:

School provides for faculty child tuition benefits.

8.4 / 10
Question 22:

School provides strong support for maternity benefits.

4.2 / 10
Question 23:

School provides an adequate amount for end of contract airfare cost.

8.8 / 10
Question 24:

School provides an adequate shipping allowance.

8.2 / 10

Housing:

Question 25:

School provides quality available housing or a housing stipend that affords quality housing.

8.2 / 10
Question 26:

The proximity of housing in relation to school location is within an acceptable distance of travel.

8 / 10
Question 27:

Options of moving housing during the course of contract is acceptable.

8.8 / 10

Colleagues:

Question 28:

Colleagues foster a welcoming environment to new faculty.

8.2 / 10
Question 29:

School hires a diversity of family structures (Singles, couples, families.

8.2 / 10
Question 30:

Colleagues foster a professional environment that supports growth.

8.8 / 10
Question 31:

Colleagues foster a personal support structure in place of family.

7.6 / 10

Place:

Question 32:

City the school resides in provides opportunities for things to do without having to travel

6.2 / 10
Question 33:

City the school resides in provides easy opportunities to travel to other places.

7 / 10
Question 34:

Local culture is apparent in the city/country in which the school resides.

7.4 / 10
Question 35:

Local culture of in which the school resides is open to integrating expats into local customs and traditions.

6.6 / 10
Question 36:

City/Country in which the school resides does not exact personal restrictions on lifestyle choices.

7 / 10
Question 37:

City/Country in which school resides provides for potential tax benefits.

6.4 / 10
Question 38:

Quality of local health care is excellent.

5.2 / 10
Question 39:

Cost of living in the city/country where school resides is reasonable.

6.8 / 10
Question 40:

City the school resides in has excellent infrastructure for mass transportation (e.g. - is a car required.

8.4 / 10
Question 41:

City/Country in which the school resides provides for adequate personal safety.

7.8 / 10

Professional Development:

Question 42:

School makes available a variety of professional development opportunities.

7 / 10
Question 43:

School makes available funds to support continued development.

6.8 / 10
Question 44:

Time is specifically set aside in the calendar for faculty and staff formation.

6.8 / 10
Question 45:

Faculty and Staff are encouraged to professionally grow by the school.

6.2 / 10
Question 46:

Faculty and Staff are encouraged to experiment, implement, and bring up new ideas for classroom innovation.

6.2 / 10

Settling In:

Question 47:

School meets you on arrival and escorts you to accommodations.

8 / 10
Question 48:

School provides an adequate orientation to the school and local culture upon arrival.

8.8 / 10
Question 49:

School provides an allowance to support the transition.

7.2 / 10

After Arrival:

Question 50:

Facilities of the school were well represented during the hiring process.

7.2 / 10
Question 51:

Contract is honored based on what was agreed upon during the hiring process.

7.8 / 10
Question 52:

School actively maintains a dialogue and support structure to make sure basic needs are being met.

6.4 / 10

Review Narratives:

5 reviews

4.5

Reviewed:

12/06/2014

A school that presents itself as a top school during recruitment fairs but in reality SSIS is far from that. It is a for profit company school- first and foremost. The treatment of the previous HOS by the board of directors was appalling. Instead of replacing her, the company decided to change the structure. Now the ES and HS principals have the same standing as the finance manager - that says it all! Numerous educational decisions fall on the side of finance instead of educational gain. Almost 45% of the students are South Korean - a surprise considering what was said during the fair, and is on the school website. That said the kids at the school are generally respectful and hard working. The ES principal, ES assistant principal and the PYP coordinator have all been promoted internally, and none of the three performs their role adequately. The ES principal openly goes back on promises made to staff which puts doubt in the mind of key staff members. The HS is full of great staff but many have a low moral based around the micro management by the MYP coordinator There is massive attrition in teachers - each year for the past three years between 35-40 teachers have left with a small number breaking contract to move on. The pollution in Suzhou is dreadful - most days the index is well into the unhealthy range. Those with respiratory issues should avoid Suzhou at all costs. Whilst more ex pat haunts are opening up this is still China! Expect issues on a daily basis. If you had the choice I would advise dismissing this school as an option under its current structure.

6.3

Reviewed:

11/11/2014

SSIS is a school that many staff members love and others quickly decide that they won't stay past the first contract. It's not the right fit for everyone and unfortunately the school presents itself during recruitment in a way that leads many teachers to think they are signing on for something different than what it actually is. Be weary of what they tell you during the interview and I suggest you ask very specific questions about the contract and benefits. Understand that you are going to China. It is polluted, the Internet is terrible and it has it's own culture that is very different than western countries. If you are afraid of pollution, allergies, grime, smells, and unsanitary conditions than maybe it's not for you. It can be an enjoyable experience if you can see past the negatives and make the most of it. Suzhou is a good place to be in China and many find it more livable than other cities in the country. If you are looking to break into international school teaching or teaching in an IB school this could be a good choice for you. Pros: -large campus and facilities -school is well-funded -IB training and other PD is provided -Resources are good -Classroom space is sufficient -Breaks allow for travel in the region -Good benefits for travel, housing -Most teachers are professionals and great to work with -Getting to Shanghai is relatively easy and cheap -Good staff induction program Cons: -Too many meetings after school -Some Saturdays are required -For-profit school -Poor quality medical care -Maternity leave is only 30 days -Medical insurance is NOT worldwide -Many teachers do not find medical insurance coverage to be sufficient -Pollution levels are dangerous -Morale is generally low -Administration is disorganized -Administration can be unprofessional in their dealings with staff -Teachers are required to lead multiple extra activities -Work / home life can be hard to balance -School does not do enough to meet the needs of the students (students are treated as though they are native English speakers - the majority of students are ESL) Overall, it's not the best school but it's not the worst.

7.7

Reviewed:

10/22/2014

No written review provided.

8.4

Reviewed:

08/14/2014

I've been at the school for many years and it keeps getting better. The students are great, the teachers are wonderful, and admin is really trying hard to create an excellent school environment and live up to SSIS's mission statement. We work hard at SSIS but the school has a very relaxed, free, and fun atmosphere which makes even the long, stressful days enjoyable. There is lots of room to pursue your own interests here— new ideas are welcomed and nurtured. The city of Suzhou also gets better every year. There's a subway now (with two lines completed so far), and more and more restaurants and shops are opening all the time. And if you can't find what you're looking for here, Shanghai is only 25 minutes away by the fast train.

8

Reviewed:

01/23/2014

SSIS is a very good IB World school with a solid written curriculum, with excellent teachers for the most part, fantastic students, and located in a city that is very safe and easy to live in. The majority of the staff are experienced IB educators who understand and incorporate the IB philosophy in their teaching. The school is vibrant with a substantial offer of activities and sports during the school day and after school. Yes, as in any school, there are always ways in which things could be improved, but overall, this is a great school to teach in. I find working here a rewarding experience, both personally and professionally. The standards set by the administration, the parents, the teachers and the students themselves are high, which keeps you motivated to continue improving as a teacher. Suzhou is especially good for families with kids as it is a very safe place. The kids can safely go to parks, malls, or walk down the street knowing that nothing is going to happen as street crime here is very rare. On the other hand, you do have the air pollution which at times can be high, particularly during the winter, but most of the year it is ok. I think it is important to mention this because someone with severe breathing or lung problems would probably have a hard time in Suzhou or anywhere else in China. I do recommend SSIS as a good place to teach and to live.

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